An audiogram is a graph that shows the results of a hearing test. It is used to assess an individual's hearing ability and identify potential hearing loss.
To read and understand an audiogram, follow these steps:
- Identify the frequencies tested: The audiogram will typically show results for a range of frequencies, such as 250 Hz to 8,000 Hz. These frequencies correspond to different sounds, with lower frequencies representing deeper sounds (like bass) and higher frequencies representing higher-pitched sounds (like birds chirping).
- Locate the hearing threshold: The hearing threshold is the softest sound a person can hear. It is typically represented by a line on the audiogram and is measured in decibels (dB). The lower the decibel level, the better the hearing.
- Identify the type of hearing loss: There are three main types: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. A problem causes conductive hearing loss in the outer or middle ear, typically represented by a dip in the hearing threshold at lower frequencies on the audiogram. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. A dip in the hearing threshold at all frequencies on the audiogram typically represents it. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
- Compare the results to normal hearing: A typical audiogram also shows a line representing normal hearing. Compare the hearing test results to this line to determine if there is any hearing loss.
- Interpret the results: Once you have identified the hearing threshold and type of hearing loss, you can use this information to determine the severity of the hearing loss and make treatment recommendations.
It's important to note that an Audiogram is a diagnostic tool, and interpreting it requires the professional expertise of an Audiologist or other hearing healthcare professionals.
If you (or anyone you know) are experiencing hearing loss, there could be many causes. Sometimes it may be our lifestyle. So, it is essential to have them check with an audiologist to confirm the hearing loss; if concerns are present, they could be addressed quickly. It might only be a temporary hearing loss or a mild hearing loss.